Computer Graphics World

September/October 2014

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44 cgw s e p t e m b e r . o c t o b e r 2 0 1 4 E D U C A T I O N . 3 D P R I N T I N G rtists are creating in- creasingly complex and highly innovative virtual worlds thanks to advanc- es in computer-aid- ed-design (CAD) soware. From films like Avatar, to online community games like The Sims, virtual design is becoming an increasingly popular medium on movie screens and comput- ers everywhere. However, as Gavin Rich, professor of Game Art at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD), points out, "everything always has to lead back to the real world." Virtual worlds are filled with mythological creatures and characters or realistic depic- tions of human beings. But what would such computer-generat- ed images look like in the "real world?" Would the level of detail created using 3D computer programs be visible? Would the hunched back of a villain cast the ominous shadow the artist intended? Is there a technology capable of accurately producing handheld objects that mirror their virtual counterparts' com- plex designs? Thanks to additive manufac- turing, also called 3D printing, six Game Art students from LCAD were able to see their creations in the physical world for the first time and address such questions. D E S I G N I N G F O R 3 D LCAD's Game Art program founder and chair, Sandy Ap- pleoff, was eager to introduce the artistic potential of additive manufacturing to LCAD's Game Art students. Her colleague had spearheaded a workshop titled "Pixels to Polymers," where stu- dents imagined and developed 3D characters with elaborate masks. The masks alone, de- signed to be 3D printable, were judged by industry profession- als, and the six winners were chosen to have their projects printed by Solid Concepts, a custom and additive manufac- turing service provider based in Valencia, California. Appleoff originally ap- proached Solid Concepts about printing, or "growing," only one mask. But once Scott McGowan, vice president of marketing at Solid Concepts, heard more about the project, he agreed to print six masks, one for each of the additive manufacturing technologies ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING INTRODUCES A NEW MEDIUM TO GAME ART STUDENTS Pixels to Polymers LAGUNA COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN ALUMNA ARIEL FAIN WITH A LASER-SINTERED REPRODUCTION OF HER AWARD- WINNING MAYAN MASK DESIGN. FAIN'S ENTRY WAS ADDITIVELY MANUFACTURED BY CALIFORNIA-BASED SOLID CONCEPTS ON AN EOSINT P 700 SERIES SYSTEM FROM EOS. A (TOP LEFT) SKETCHES FAIN CREATED FOR HER MASK-WEARING CHARACTER, QUETZALCOATL. (TOP RIGHT) FULL VIRTUAL DESIGN OF QUETZALCOATL, FROM WHICH THE MASK ALONE WAS 3D-PRINTED VIA LASER SINTERING.

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